Drill, Apollo Lunar Surface (ALSD)


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

The Apollo Lunar Surface Drill (ALSD) was deployed on Apollo 15, 16, and 17. It consisted of a cordless, battery-operated motor with specialized drill bits and modular core stems. The system was designed to extract soil column samples and to create holes for emplacement of two heat flow probes into the lunar surface. Each core stem segment was a rigid but hollow tube measuring about 40 cm. (16 in.) in length. Joined together and driven into the surface, they enabled astronauts to drill as deep as 10 ft into the lunar soil.

This drill was used for training. It was transferred from NASA to the Smithsonian in 1976.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Transferred from the NASA- Johnson Space Center


Bore stems: epoxy fiberglass, glass, boron; drill stems: titanium; drill bit: steel; cutting tips: tungsten carbide; power head: magnesium; battery: silver oxide-zinc


Overall: 1ft 10in. x 10in. x 7in., 29.5lb. (55.88 x 25.4 x 17.78cm, 13.4kg)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Inventory Number


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